I love meeting new people. LOVE it. I love learning where they’re from, I love learning what kind of talents they have. I love learning what they’re passionate about, what makes them cry, what gives them energy- I just love learning people. But there’s one thing I hate about meeting new people. The one dreaded question that everyone asks.
“So, what do you do?”
As if that defines them.
I’ve come to realize that this question is a quick defining tool when you’re getting to know them. “Oh, you work at the bank?” (she must be rich) “Oh, you’re a missionary?” (she thinks she knows it all..) “Oh, you work in a greenhouse?” (they must not have gone to college) Oh, you own your own business? ( wow, they must be determined.) I could go on, but I’ll spare you.
One thing this question doesn’t do is tell you about who they are as a person. Are they kind? Does their heart reflect Christ? Do they spend time with the ones they love? What is the heart behind what they do? I so deeply wish this question wasn’t so important to us. Yes, I understand that it’s a “get to know you” question, but why not switch it up? Why not ask “So, what makes you, you?” instead of “What do you do?”
I’m not trying to come across as angry or upset, just more so concerned about how we plop people into status bubbles based on their occupation. Does it matter if someone is a teacher, rather than a politician? Or a mum rather than a pastor? Does it matter if someone works a minimum wage job, or they make the top ranking salary? Today Jesus over took me with His love. He showed me just how deep His love for me goes. He whispered love into my heart and reminded me again of how much He cares about me, how often He thinks about me. He just came and sat beside me in the middle of my struggle. He was caring. He was gentle. He didn’t rush me or expect a certain response from Him. He was just there.
And Jesus was a carpenter.
I want to challenge you (but don’t I always, fellow reader?) Before you ask someone what they do, work at understanding who they are. When you know who a person is, you’ll come to realize that their job doesn’t define them. The salary doesn’t define them. The success of their business doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s work at breaking down social statuses, and work more towards developing character- of love, of justice, of respect and of courage. Let’s learn from Jesus and look beyond the tax collector status and see the heart that beats wild inside.
So yeah. I’m a missionary. But what makes me, me? My sass, which I have to keep in check. My heart, my wisdom, my love of words and letters and anything extravagant. My deep, overwhelming love for a Saviour I cannot see, and don’t always “feel”, but know, without a shadow of a doubt, that He’s here. Always. My family has formed and shaped me, but yet doesn’t define me. My love for life, for freedom, for justice and for peace. These things make me, me. And if you roll that all together in some sort of personality test and figure out what occupation best suits me, please, let me know. Until then I will continue where I am, loving the people He blesses me with, and dreaming alongside Him as He walks me through each day.
Much, much love.
With Strength that is not my own, Sam